The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We read this in Sacred Scripture in Galatians 5:22-23. The fruits of the Spirit are mentioned in contrast to the works of the flesh. St. Paul is exhorting the Galatians to live a life in the Spirit as opposed to a life in the flesh. Living in the flesh does not necessarily mean committing sins of the flesh; but it is a life lived selfishly without surrendering to God’s will. A life led by the Holy Spirit on the other hand, is a life completely surrendered to God. The Holy Spirit helps us conform our will to God’s will for us. This is how the saints lived their lives in complete surrender to the will of God. This kind of life in the Spirit, which every Christian is called to live, produces good fruit. It produces the fruits of the Spirit mentioned above.
My favorite fruit of the Spirit is love. God’s love for us is all powerful. It has the power to heal, save and deliver. In prayer, I like to sit in contemplation where I can simply be in the Lord’s presence and receive the Lord’s unconditional love. In my relationships with people, I receive much joy by being able to give love and receive love in return. We are made for relationship and when our relationships are filled with God’s love, they can be sources of grace and blessing. One of the reasons for division, strife and tension in our society is a lack of love and a distorted idea of love. True love, as shown to us by Christ on the cross, is selfless. May the love of God heal us.
By Father Derek Saldanha, July 15, 2022